Building a Better Bathing Suit

Business is all about execution.  New products will always be developed, but getting them to market is what matters.  This is the foundation of business success or failure.  Marketing is an art and a science that too many people assume they can do without help.

Step 1:  Come Up With a Great Idea

On The Big Idea, Donnie Deutsch invites regular people to pitch their business ideas to experts.  Recently he had on some women who had come up with a great new concept in women’s bathing suits.  Their idea was to capitalize on women’s tendency to cover up their bikini bottoms with shorts by manufacturing bathing suits that consist of a bikini top and trunk style bottoms.

This isn’t an entirely new idea.  Some bathing suit companies have been selling bathing suits with matching trunks for a while.  However, the business idea was to really take advantage of existing demand for a practical cover up for active women.  It was a great idea, and the experts went so far as to state that this company could create a new category in women’s swimwear if they went about it the right way.  Furthermore, if they created that new category, they would own it.

Step 2:  Get All The Help You Can

It was clear the entrepreneurs had a great product, but these ladies needed a lot of help in execution.  If they don’t do it right, competition will snag their great idea and do it better.  Thanks to Donnie for providing the help because I need those trunks!  Here’s some of the advice they received:

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· The name of the product, Trunkettes, was faulted for conjuring images of tree trunk thighs.  Women want to feel confident and sexy and the name needs to portray that.  (I would have gone with Trunkinis.)

· The key benefit of the trunks is feeling comfortable in imperfect bodies while doing the things real women do – swim, chase kids, etc.  The experts suggested emphasizing sexiness and confidence.

· The logo, a cartoon image of a young, thin woman in the suit did not speak to the target market.

· The business owners defined their target market as women aged 18-45.  They were also advised to create different products for different segments, the idea being that younger women have different reasons for purchasing this type of suit than older women.

· At around $59, the price point was appropriate, but with fabric upgrades the price could go much higher.

You can see how the details of execution make or break a great idea.  It takes a business person with the ability to call on help when and make the right choices to create something truly great.  You may not have access to expert resources, but don’t overlook local small business associations, universities, and your extended network.  Tap all these in formal and informal ways and you can piece together a pretty solid strategy for a new business idea.